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In the Plato’s “Allegory of a Cave,” and Thoreau’s “A Civil Disobedience,” which are two different essays separated by thousands of years, share numerous commonalities. In most instances, people consider emotion as more crucial and impressionable than logic when planning to launch an attack with the aim of simulating a group of citizens to act. Both Plato and Thoreau resolve to reflect their philosophical idealism through individuals’ actions accompanied by works of writing. By doing so, they create a rhetoric technique, though unsuccessful; they are tremendously significant in the process of social change. These essays are connected and clear since they speak directly to issues affecting people. Both the authors speak to matters by making their own perceptions and offering suggestions to help solve such issues. This essay compares and contrasts the two pieces.
To begin with Plato’s piece, it clearly highlights the significance of embracing the truth. Many people are open-minded and the Plato’s piece depicts human’s condition as being “chained in a cave.” It is vital for people to embrace truth to solve numerous injustices in life. This is a process that is likely to be successful when people embark on the journey towards finding the truth. This in actual sense represents crucial part of our lives besides the philosophical mind that focuses on unearthing what makes the thing appear the way they are. Plato’s piece reflects on the majority of the youths faced with numerous adverse problems caused by the economic meltdown (Stephen 16). These problems make the youths believe that their problems cannot be solved, nonetheless, with the introduction of new ideas; solving such predicaments is achievable. Most youths see the significance of the new ideas, though human nature is still likely to resist change; it is vital to ebrace change as an instrument for success. Conversely, Thoreau’s idealistic motive is clearly spelt in his “Civil Disobedience.” Using Thoreau’s piece, the common man becomes educated on the magnitude of the public knowledge regarding the management of resources. Thoreau also uses his piece to ensure that people are enlightened to understand the significance of change that will enable people to stop losing their properties, families, or life. Thoreau’s essay is vital since it highlights on the reasons that most people hold while disregarding the changes that are significant in various areas. Thoreau differs with Plato on some instances such the instances when he asks questions and then offers answers to the questions. This is evident when he asks, “Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator?” He provides a response that states, “It is truly enough said that a corporation has no conscience; but a corporation of conscientious men is a corporation with a conscience” (15). The answer makes the readers capable of seeing the truth or certainty in his point of argument and all his point are metaphorically canvassed.
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Secondly, the oppression of big government is an issue of concern to both authors. This is because of how people live where true reality is a complex issue. Plato’s essay uses prisoners in the cave watching images, which orchestrate those people in the government that they do not see but rule them. He also depicts people struggling painfully by being dragged past the fire and up the entrance (Plato 1237). Upon stepping into sunshine, their eyes become open and slowly accommodate the light and their fundamental view of the world. Plato’s essay represents human condition and the situations such as the behaviors in society, beliefs, and the guiding principles that affect people presently. Plato uses seeveral elements metaphors just like Thoreau metaphorically highlights on everyday life as human beings. By reading Plato’s essay, people are capable of viewing and judging things. Thoreau conversely states that people “cannot spare the protection of the existing government, and they dread the consequences to their property and families of disobedience to it” (123).
Henry David Thoreau believes that a better government is essential for the common man. Through these suppositions and people having problems with the government; Thomas Jefferson always insisted on ensuring that people are equally treated. Not all people are always happy with the government, rather Thoreau provides suggestions that are likely to assist in dealing with the government because everyone believes that it is vital to improve the government. Additionally, when government is corrupt; their corporations are unjust and people are likely to become outraged because of their unjust actions. However, it is worth noting that government is an evil institution and when dealing with it, many people are likely to face numerous consequences (Thiong’o 25).
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In conclusion, it is evident that both Plato and Thoreau play an essential role in enlightening the common man. People are educated philosophically using metaphoric expressions. They both believe that most people have become open-minded to embrace change and the truth. In the process, they have taken up the challenge of ensuring that they find the truth. Through the Plato’s essay, which is a representation of a crucial part of our lives; many people are faced with numerous problems. The government is portrayed as evil and Thoreau believes that people must embrace change to become successful in life. Truth and trust must accompany change in various institutions to ensure success in numerous areas, which will change the nature of politics.
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